KUALA LUMPUR: Sustained local fund buying enabled the FBM KLCI to record two milestones on Friday, which were the record intra-day high of 1,686.70 and all-time closing high of 1,681.33.
Fund managers said local funds continued to be in the market and were nibbling on selected blue chips, including consumer stocks.
Plantation stocks were among the top performers amid the firmer crude palm oil (CPO) prices.
At the close, the FBM KLCI was up 7.17 points or 0.25% to 1,681.33. Turnover was 853.83 million shares valued at RM1.27bil. The number of advancing counters picked up pace in late afternoon, with gainers beating losers 436 to 255 while 345 counters were unchanged.
Reuters reported world shares and the euro edged higher on Friday as U.S. lawmakers prepared to resume negotiations on avoiding a fiscal crisis, while the yen hit a two-year low on the prospect of drastic monetary easing in Japan.
In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index hit a 21-month high as markets priced in a huge injection of stimulus by the Bank of Japan following the election of a new government. The expectations also pushed the yen to a new two-year low versus the dollar, said Reuters.
Among the key regional markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.21% to 22,666.59; Shanghai’s Composite Index added 1.24% to 2,233.25; Taiwan’s Taiex 0.67% higher at 7,699.50 and South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.49% to 1,997.05 and Singapore’s Straits Times Index 0.25% to 3,191.80.
Crude palm oil for third-month futures rose RM27 to RM2,508, but off the intra-day high of RM2,515 ahead of the removal of the export duty on palm oil from Jan 1, 2013.
Batu Kawan rose the most among the plantation stocks, up 30 sen to RM18.30 while Sarawak Oil Palm gained 19 sen to RM5.85, PPB 14 sen to RM11.36 and Sime Darby 10 sen to RM9.49. However, KLK fell 16 sen to RM21.94.
Kulim, which seeks to be transformed into a plantation company, rose 18 sen to RM5 on its single-tier special dividend of 90.94 sen per share. Kulim-CF jumped 7.5 sen to 19.5 sen with 23.71 million units done.
DRB-Hicom’s securities were actively traded, with the shares up 14 sen to RM2.74, the call warrants, DRB-Hicom-CR added 3.5 sen to 19.5 sen and DRB-Hicom-CL 4.0 sen to 20 sen.
Banks ended higher, with CIMB up seven sen to RM7.67 and RHB Cap six sen to RM7.66. Axiata continued to attract fund interest, adding seven sen to RM6.74.
BAT was the top gainer, up 84 sen to RM61. However, Guinness Anchor fell 16 sen to RM16.48 and JTI 12 sen lower at RM6.55.
IRCB tumbled 6.0 sen to 7.0 sen and its warrants IRCB-WA lost 2.0 sen to 2.0 sen with 30.25 million units done after the company was classified as a Practice Note 17 company.
US light crude oil rose 11 cents to US$90.98 and Brent slipped nine cents to US$110.71 while spot gold fell US$3.18 to US$1,660.93.
The ringgit weakened against the US dollar to 3.0612 from the previous close of 3.0603.
– THE STAR